Friday, December 5, 2008

Lacey Act Implementation Delayed

The statutory deadline for compliance with the declaration requirement under the Lacey Act amendments is December 15, 2008. To address the concern of both the trade and federal agencies, the USDA has proposed phased in enforcement of the Lacey Act starting around April 1, 2009. (April Fools Day!) Some importers may not be required to comply until July. The following is a proposed timeline for the implementation and enforcement.

December 15, 2008 - Paper declaration form available and accepted. No prosecution for failure to complete the form from December to end of March unless false information submitted.

April 1, 2008 – Enforcement of declaration requirement for HTS chapters 6 and 44. Electronic collection of required declaration available.

July 1, 2008 – Enforcement of declaration requirement for additional HTS chapters – 47, 48, 92, 94

Sept 2009 – Phased-in enforcement for additional HTS chapters 12, 13, 14, 45, 46, 66, 82, 93, 95, 96, and 97.

In case you’ve been busy resolving other trade issues and haven’t paid much attention to this one, remember that the Lacey Act requires submission of a declaration for a wide variety products such as live plants, lumber, paper, products containing plant material such as furniture, tools, sporting goods, printed matter, musical instruments and textiles. Importers will be required to report the species of plant/wood and country of origin. Check out the USDA web site for more information about the Lacey Act.

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